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New slim PS3 to land later this year?

The PlayStation 3 is currently a very large, and heavy console

Sony will launch a new slim-lined PlayStation 3 console in the second half of 2008. That's according to our buddies over at T3, who got the juicy gossip from a clued-up industry insider.

The rumour is that the new PS3 will be much slimmer and weigh a lot less than the current model. That's not hard to believe - the PS3 is physically the biggest PlayStation console Sony has ever built. It's also the heaviest, so the benefits from such a move are obvious.

PS3 to go on a diet?

If the rumours - and they are just rumours at this stage - are true, this could tie in with Sony's recent announcement that it has cut its PS3 build cost in half. So instead of each PS3 costing Sony £400 to build, they now only cost £200.

This is partly down to Sony's efforts to shrink down a lot of the components used inside the console. Among the parts that have been improved are the processing chips and also the Blu-ray laser modules.

And a raft of smaller components clearly would give Sony the option of making slimmer consoles.

There are other rumours that Sony is about to unleash a PS3 console with a great deal more storage - some say up to 160GB. Could the slim PS3 also be the high-capacity PS3? It's certainly possible.

But let's just take a step backwards for a second. Sony has a track record of releasing slimmed-down, lighter versions of its consoles. It did it for both the original PlayStation consoles (albeit a lot later in their life cycles) and has also recently done the same for the PSP handheld.

So, that Sony will release a slimmer PS3 at some point is an absolute given. The time-scale is what's interesting here. And one thing's for sure, a new look would certainly go a long way towards shedding the PS3's somewhat tarnished image among gamers.